June 28, 2008

i can see no reason

Posted in movies tagged , at 7:17 pm by placeinthestars

L. and I went to see Wanted today. We both enjoyed it, though I could have done without the rats. It definitely had a comic book feel to it. Angelina Jolie is badass and James McAvoy is adorable. I wish he’d get to use his real accent more often. I am not sure the movie made much sense, but if you like a big shoot ’em up that owes a large debt to The Matrix, you’ll probably enjoy it.

I am not sure I’m not overthinking, but I thought it was kind of a commentary on how dangerous escapism can be. spoilers


June 22, 2008

Unwise Purchases by George Bilgere

Posted in poetry tagged , at 2:37 pm by placeinthestars

Unwise Purchases
by George Bilgere

They sit around the house
not doing much of anything: the boxed set
of the complete works of Verdi, unopened.
The complete Proust, unread:

The French-cut silk shirts
which hang like expensive ghosts in the closet
and make me look exactly
like the kind of middle-aged man
who would wear a French-cut silk shirt:

The reflector telescope I thought would unlock
the mysteries of the heavens
but which I only used once or twice
to try to find something heavenly
in the windows of the high-rise down the road,
and which now stares disconsolately at the ceiling
when it could be examining the Crab Nebula:

The 30-day course in Spanish
whose text I never opened,
whose dozen cassette tapes remain unplayed,

save for Tape One, where I never learned
whether the suave American
conversing with a sultry-sounding desk clerk
at a Madrid hotel about the possibility
of obtaining a room
actually managed to check in.

I like to think
that one thing led to another between them
and that by Tape Six or so
they’re happily married
and raising a bilingual child in Seville or Terra Haute.

But I’ll never know.
Suddenly I realize
I have constructed the perfect home
for a sexy, Spanish-speaking astronomer
who reads Proust while listening to Italian arias,

and I wonder if somewhere in this teeming city
there lives a woman with, say,
a fencing foil gathering dust in the corner
near her unused easel, a rainbow of oil paints
drying in their tubes

on the table where the violin
she bought on a whim
lies entombed in the permanent darkness
of its locked case
next to the abandoned chess set,

a woman who has always dreamed of becoming
the kind of woman the man I’ve always dreamed of becoming
has always dreamed of meeting.

And while the two of them discuss star clusters
and Cézanne, while they fence delicately
in Castilian Spanish to the strains of Rigoletto,

she and I will stand in the steamy kitchen,
fixing up a little risotto,
enjoying a modest cabernet,
while talking over a day so ordinary
as to seem miraculous.


June 16, 2008

map the words out

Posted in books tagged , at 9:57 pm by placeinthestars

I just finished reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I found it touching and funny and sad and interesting – it’s a fast read, full of heartbreak and unexpected sweetness and humor. I was originally put off by the black and white artwork – it kept me from buying the book a couple of times – but I found it really easy to follow and thought the artwork definitely added to the story, and the experience of reading it. I highly recommend it.


June 5, 2008

we’re your wild girls

Posted in movies tagged , at 9:59 am by placeinthestars

L. and I went to see Sex and the City last night.

Of all the movies I expected to stand on a line at least half a block long (in the RAIN no less), to get into, this was not even on the list, and yet, there I was at 8pm last night, in the rain (sans umbrella, because it wasn’t raining when I left the house), on a line that snaked 3/4 of the way down 86th Street. For a movie that’s been out almost a week.

When we went to see Indiana Jones at the midnight show, there was no line at all.

I am still boggled by this.

Anyway. The short, non-spoilery version is, I enjoyed the movie a lot. I still love Samantha best, and Charlotte (and then Miranda, and then Carrie), it was funny and touching, and it was fun to see all the characters again, but it was just a titch too long. Of course, I say that about most movies these days. A little judicious editing and my short-attention-span self would be a happier moviegoer. I was not a regular viewer of the show, though I watched on and off over the years, enough to be mostly familiar with the backstory.

click for a more spoilery review